Growing up in the Central Valley of California with family farmers, there was never a shortage of fresh summer fruits and vegetables. My memories of golden, dusty summer days at my grandmother’s farmhouse are filled with plump grapes and juicy ripe peaches. All of our favorite summer eats have a story—from the domestication of your corn on the cob, to the agave that made the tequila in your margarita, to the Native Americans who held the earliest barbeques that you continue to enjoy today, to the farmers who grew and picked the produce you bought from the farmer’s market.
In this staff-picked online collection (curated by a food lover), we dig into reads that highlight favorite summer eats and the food systems behind them. The collection features touching food memoirs that give readers a glimpse into different food cultures and relationships with hunger; lessons from Indigenous botany; novels and children’s books inspired by blueberries and pickles; investigations on flawed food distribution and meat industries; research on sustainable practices as well as the geeky science of ice cream; intimate profiles on the service workers and farming communities that are the backbone of our food systems. The foods that we grow and eat makeup so much of who we are—our health, our identity, our culture, our society, our tastes. The selections here explore these themes and more. We hope you've worked up an appetite—these book selections are bound to make you hungry to read.
Click on the books below to get access to our library's e-books.